Lovely music, cool art cards and chair yoga

Annke van Giersbergen – de Maasport, Venlo; February 7th, 2019

The moment Anneke van Gierbergen announced her new theater tour “Inchecken” together with guitarist Ferry Duijsens I took a long good look at the tourdates. I had loved her last show “The New Madonna” and didn’t think twice about attending this one. Of all the many cities she played and will play on this tour, Venlo was the one that suited me best so I got myself a ticket. I made a good choice. It was a beautiful show full of songs and stories that took us through Anneke’s entire career. I laughed, I cried and I had a great time.

Venlo is closer to Dortmund than Cologne, but takes a bit longer to reach. still, you can get there in two hours by train and it was easy to do after work. Reached my lovely Bed and Breakfast a little after 6, had tea and relaxed before walking to the venue. It had three or even four halls so it took me a little bit to fid the correct one, but still got there before they opened. Had a nice front row seat on the site and took on the stage setup that included a two seat sofa, a chair, some luggage and a landing strip of sorts in the center. Looked around and saw that it was pretty full. Nice. 🙂

Just after 08:15 Anneke and Ferry walked out, he sat down on the sofa with his guitar and she stood at the center microphone, singing ‘Stuck in Time’ for us. It’s a song I hadn’t heard before and I though it was lovely. Then she invited us to take a flight with us through history or something along those lines. Of course she was speaking Dutch and I did not understand everything, but mostly got the gist of it. She talked about Ferry sitting in the cockpit and that to take a flight we have to check in first. We even got some nice elevator music. 😉 Then she proceeded to take selfies and when she came over to take one with us she almost fell off the stage. Luckily she caught herself and laughed about it.

Anneke talked a lot that night, telling stories and taking us on a journey. I realized I was a bit Dutch impaired at times and had no clue what she was talking about, but enjoyed it anyway. Secretly I was amused be the frequent usage of the word “lecker” – it sure took be back to another tour two years prior. 😀 The second song of the night was ‘Ih-Aah’, a song she had done with Devin Townsend. I’ve heard her talk about that project a lot, but never checked it out. After hearing this, I thought I should. We were entering familiar territory with ‘Everwake’ and by then I was full into it, enjoying the ride. Anneke’s voice always carries me and Ferry’s guitar playing was beautiful.

One story I remember was about touring in Mexico city and a driver they had who made her fear for her life. She described him aa short man with a cowboy hat and something about “rodeo style”. Seems like he drove like that too.  It must have been funny, people laughed a lot about it. 😉 She talked about a gig with The Gathering before playing ‘You learn about it’ and continued with ‘Porselein’ a song she has performed with BlØF. With the band’s bassist she did a project called Ticket for Tibet recently and she told us about that too. They were playing at the Melkweg in Amsterdam where the Dalai Lama was a guest too and she got to shakes his hand and mentioned hers was still tingling three days later. 🙂

Anneke spoke about how everything in life goes in circles, relationships too. The song drove me to tears, it has a special power over me. She played guitar to this one, while she mostly only sang. Next was ‘Solveig’s Song’ from the album she did with Árstíðir. At this point, about halfway through the show she joined Ferry in the cockpit and noted it was a long flight, suggesting we should do some chair yoga with them to stretch so we would not get stiff.They showed us how to do it too and some people even played along. It was fun. Ferry walked over to the suicases standing on the right side of the stage, one of witch turned out to be a percussion instrument. They played another Dutch song called ‘Ik ga slapen’, followed by a great rendition of Within Temptations ‘Somewhere’. It always amazes me how effortlessly Anneke switched between different styles and genres. She sings everything well.

Before ‘Home again’ we heard about how she first worked as a solo artists after leaving The Gathering how few people came at first and how harsh the critics were. We got ‘The Moment’ next, which brought me close to tears again for the sheer beaut of it. Anneke talked about her friendship with John Wetton and how they always tried to meet, but rarely managed, because whenever she was in England he was on tour and when he was in the Netherlands, she was on tour. She talked about his death too and gave us an amazing version of ‘To Catch a Thief’. This night introduced me to so many songs I didn’t know before and I loved them all.

“If you should think after this night that we wanted to hear all this again, I have CDs too.” she told us and mentioned the record she just made with Residentie Orkest the Hague. One of the songs she played with them, ‘Zo Lief’ she dedicated to her son Finn, who has been coming on tour with her since before he was born. She mentioned an art card he made for this tour and while she did he walked on stage behind her, showed the card, fist-bumped Ferry and walked out. It was a very cool cameo. 😉

‘Leaves’ took us to the end of the show and we cheered her back to the stage for ‘Your Glorious Light Will Shine’ and finally a solo version of ‘Asleep’ to send us of to bed. Before she left, she thanked her crew and her audience for the night. It was a great show overall and I am glad I went to see it. Afterwards I wanted to buy the tour CD, but didn’t rush and when I arrived at the merch stand it was already sold out. 🙁 Got me two of Finn’s cool art cards instead, signed by the artist. I got Anneke to sign them too and told her I’d loved the show. Spent a little time chatting with Robbin and bought the CD after all. It will just be delivered via mail later. Happily I said goodbye.

Setlist

Stuck in Time (Lorrainville)
Ih-Ah! (Devin Townsend Project)
Everwake (Anathema )
You Learn About It (The Gathering)
Porselein (BlØF)
New Love (Lorrainville)
Circles
Solveig’s Song
Ik ga slapen
Somewhere (Within Temptation)
Home Again
The Moment (The Gentle Storm)
To Catch a Thief (John Wetton & Geoffrey Downes)
Zo Lief
Leaves

Encore:
Your Glorious Light Will Shine – Helsinki (VUUR)
Asleep

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